Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 49
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Ties 2
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (153)
  • Likely Dem (125)
  • Barely Dem (54)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (47)
  • Strongly GOP (144)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: WI
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
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Obama Lead Narrows in Pennsylvania Poll Suggests McCaskill Headed for Defeat

News from the Votemaster

GDP Is Increasing but Slower Than It Was

Yesterday the Dept. of Commerce released data on how well the economy did in the second quarter. It grew at an annual rate of 1.5%. While it is going in the right direction, this is not fast enough to create the millions of jobs needed now. With this kind of growth, the economy is expected to add only 125,000 to 150,000 jobs a month. With President Obama's reelection closely tied to the economy, this report was bad news for him. Of course, Mitt Romney cannot openly celebrate bad economic news, but he can and will continue to bludgeon Obama on the economy and jobs.

No News Is Bad News for Romney

After a series of gaffes that caused the British Prime Minister and Mayor of London to mock him, Mitt Romney has failed to generate any positive news to change the story. He could have gone to visit his wife's horse, which is competing in dressage, and said how proud he is of her and her horse. At the very least he could have been photographed with some of America's top athletes, urging them to go for the gold. But basically he didn't generate any news yesterday, when he badly needed it.

Also noteworthy about this trip is that Romney didn't take many top aides with him. They are all still in Boston doing business as usual. In contrast, when Obama went abroad in the summer of 2008, he took David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, Susan Rice, and all of his other top advisors. All in all, it is as if Romney simply assumed that simply showing up would be enough, a surprising miscalculation for someone who is fond of meticulous planning. While there are no do-overs in politics, Sunday he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the focus will shift to the treacherous politics of the Middle East. As it turns out, Sunday is a holiday in Israel, Tisha B'av, that commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem. He could have could have given a speech at the Western Wall and talked about threats to Israel's security, but he opted for speaking at a conference center instead. That alone characterizes Romney. Rather than picking a venue with great emotional impact, he did what any CEO would do: pick a modern business venue. But what he says could be important if it rises above the standard platitudes about support for Israel. However, avoiding verbal landmines in a country where every word in the Talmud has been the subject of heated arguments for 1000 years won't be easy.

Parties Face Dilemmas While Writing Platforms

While not everyone knows it, each party has a written platform that states what the party wants to achieve. The platforms are formally ratified at the conventions, but the fights over what will be in them are in full swing now. Democrats are wrestling about what to say on the subjects of gay marriage and gun control while Republicans are sweating immigration and health care.

The problems are caused by internal divisions within the parties or electoral concerns. Most Democrats support gay marriage and tougher gun laws but they fear that putting this down in writing will just generate attack ads from the Republicans. Republicans have a problem with immigration because a large part of the party wants tough measures to punish employers who hire illegal aliens, yet such measures are wildly unpopular with Latino citizens who fear employers will just shun all immigrants to avoid potential fines. On health care, Republicans are united on wanting to repeal Obamacare, but there is no consensus at all about what should replace it. After all, for 20 years, their plan was to make everyone buy insurance from a private company (i.e., Obamacare). There was never a plan B.

Not Your Grandpa's Election Day

In days gone by, people went to the polls on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November and voted. It has gotten much more complicated since then. In Virginia and Iowa, early voting begins in September and in almost a dozen other states it begins in October (Oct. 2 in Ohio). Oregon and Washington state conduct elections by mail. Overseas Americans, members of the Armed Forces stationed abroad and people who cannot come to the polls for physical reasons or who will be out of town on election day can vote by absentee ballot. In short, the manner in which people vote has changed radically in the past few decades.

All this has consequences for the results. For example, an enthusiastic Virginian who votes on Sept. 21 might change his mind after seeing the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, but it is too late. In fact, so many votes have have been cast before election day that the fates of the candidates may have already been sealed even before Dixville Notchians (Notchites? Notchonians?) have hit the ballot box at the stroke of midnight. As a result of all the early voting, what happens in September will be more crucial than in previous years, in order to influence the early voters.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Wisconsin 49% 46%   Jul 25 Jul 25 Rasmussen

Today's Senate Polls

In Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) has pulled ahead of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) by 9 points, possibly due to Berkley's ethical problems. She was involved in legislation that helped her husband's kidney transplant medical center and is being investigated for it. No one really disputes that having a representative bring money into her district for improved medical facilities there is legitimate, but the fact that it directly helps her husband makes it fishy. The voters possibly smell the fish.

Starting today, incumbent senators will be marked with an asterisk.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Nevada Shelley Berkley 42% Dean Heller* 51%     Jul 24 Jul 24 Rasmussen

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Jul27 Romney Begins Foreign Trip with a Series of Gaffes
Jul27 Tampa Strip Clubs Getting Ready for the Republican Convention
Jul27 Obama to Sign Israel Security Bill Just as Romney Arrives in Israel
Jul27 Obama Falls Short on Education Goal
Jul27 Bloomberg Endorses Scott Brown
Jul26 Senate Passes Middle-Class Tax Cut Bill
Jul26 Presidential Debate Schedule Announced
Jul26 Romney's Foreign Trip Carefully Crafted for Maximum Electoral Impact
Jul26 Romney Leading among Business Owners
Jul25 Ads Succeed in Making Voters Dislike Both Candidates
Jul25 Romney SuperPACs Have Spent $144 Million so Far
Jul25 Effect of Photo ID Laws on Polling is Unknown
Jul25 Sarah Palin Endorses Jeff Flake in Arizona Senate Race
Jul25 Portman Could be Hit with Steel
Jul24 Can Pawlenty or Portman Bring in His State?
Jul24 Americans Frustrated with Campaign Already
Jul24 Obama Goes after Romney with White Working-Class Voters
Jul24 Record Number of Openly Gay Candidates Running for Congress
Jul24 Hillary Clinton Leading in Iowa--in 2016
Jul23 New Feature Starting Today: A Second Map Page without Rasmussen
Jul23 Economy Improving Somewhat in the Swing States
Jul23 Obama Visits Colorado to Comfort Victim's Families
Jul23 Kerrey Struggling in Nebraska
Jul22 Swing State Economies Are Weak
Jul22 Has Citizens United Changed the Game?
Jul22 Beer and the Presidency
Jul22 Swing State Economies Are Weak
Jul22 Has Citizens United Changed the Game?
Jul22 Beer and the Presidency
Jul21 Shooting in Colorado Unlikely to Become a Campaign Issue
Jul21 National Senate and Congressional Committees Announce June Totals
Jul21 More Women Running for the House Than Ever Before
Jul20 Republican Voters Want Rice as Veep
Jul20 Strategy Memo Dissects the White Working Class
Jul20 The Three Campaigns
Jul20 Romney Hopes European Trip Will Show Him to Be a Statesman
Jul20 DSCC Chairwoman Talks to Maine Democrat Cynthia Dill
Jul19 Romney Camp Divided on Releasing Tax Returns
Jul19 Wealthy Republican Senate Candidates Picking Up Steam
Jul19 Could Foreign Policy Become a Campaign Issue?
Jul18 New Study Finds Voter ID Laws Burdensome
Jul18 Congress May Raise Taxes by Cutting Them
Jul18 Congress May Raise Taxes to Cut Them
Jul18 Ohio Sued for Restricting Early Voting
Jul18 Romney Accuses Obama of Cronyism
Jul17 Obama's Attacks on Bain Appear to be Working
Jul17 Republicans Filibuster DISCLOSE Act
Jul17 R.I.P. Independent Journalism
Jul17 Americans Woefully Ignorant about Government
Jul17 Can Your Mom Run Your SuperPAC?